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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone my notification to change the coolant level came on in my 98 Deville so i sent ahead and purchased Dexcool and bars leak powder but how do I start? Will really appreciate anyone who can lay down the steps.
Thanks
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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26,323 Posts
Coolant should be drained and filled every 2-3 years, but if you got the CHECK COOLANT LEVEL message, it's because you have a leak. You need to find and repair the leak before you bother changing the coolant.

Also, don't use the coolant tabs or powder. They tend to clog heater cores and small coolant passages. GM no longer uses them, or recommends their use.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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19,289 Posts
MC is right on the money - as usual - :thumbsup:

the message is CHECK COOLANT LEVEL -
because it's either low due to a leak -
or the sensor in the serge tank is defective and sending an erroneous signal -

you can borrow a cooling system pressure test kit
from most big auto parts chain stores -

with the engine off - and cold - install the kit -
pump the pressure up to 20PSI -
it should hold that pressure for hours/days if there is no leak -

to change the coolant - drain out the old - pour in the new -

DO NOT USE ANY STOP LEAK TYPE PRODUCTS -
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice really! So your saying I should make sure either the sensor is faulty or I have a leak? should I just take it to a sears auto center?
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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It's one or the other. Open the surge tank and take a look. The coolant should be just about half way up the tank. If it is, the float is stuck, or the sensor faulty.

Weather or not you should take it to Sears depends on weather you think you can diagnose it (renting the kit is basically free, and it's easy to use), and how much you trust Sears not to overcharge you, or misdiagnose it.
 

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Alexandra - 96 SDV Clyde - 15 Silvy
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Thanks for the advice really! So your saying I should make sure either the sensor is faulty or I have a leak? should I just take it to a sears auto center?
One of the two. Why take it to Sears when we are ready and willing to help?

Snoop around the engine compartment for a dried, white, chalky residue. This is Dexcool in its dried state. Wherever you find this indicates a leak. Another way to try is to check while the engine is running and see if there's leaks.

If you need to replace the surge tank and float sensor (don't sell 'em separate), go snoop around in the tech tips section. I had to change my surge tank and sensor this past summer, and I did a picture write up on how to do so.

Good luck!
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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19,289 Posts
Thanks for the advice really! So your saying I should make sure either the sensor is faulty or I have a leak? should I just take it to a sears auto center?
-----------------
with the engine cold - remove the pressure cap -
if the coolant level in the serve tank is about 1/2 full -
your cooling system is all OK - and the sensor in the tank is defective -
the easiest solution is to simply replace the tank -

YES - it is a very simple job to do -
and we can even find the best place to get the new tank from -

IF - on the other hand - the coolant level is below 1/2 full - or empty -
there IS a leak somewhere - and that leak needs to be fixed -

YES - we can help guide you through that process too -

now - go look at the coolant level - and tell us what you see -
 
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